Flo Anderson was born in Victoria, B.C. She and her husband Trevor and their four children lived at five different B.C. lighthouse stations from 1961 to 1982. In December of 1961, her family left Vancouver to start life anew at the light station on Lennard Island, near Tofino. There wasn't a furnace. She used an old wood stove for heat and cooking, collecting driftwood for burning. She didn't meet anyone else on the island for weeks. "Writing about Lennard Island was very painful for me," she told interviewer Marianne Scott, "Life was traumatic. I was so naive. Recounting it all was therapy. Lots of people have this romantic view of living at a lighthouse. That's why I wrote about it." In 1963, Trevor Anderson became senior keeper at Barrett Rock, seven miles beyond Prince Rupert. Four months later they were sent to McInnes Island in Millbanke Sound, between Prince Rupert and Vancouver Island. Fourteen months later, they were relocated to northernmost staffed lighthouse in Canada, Green Island. In July of 1966 they were transferred to the southernmost point on the Canadian Pacific, Race Rocks, where they spent 16 years. As of 1974, they spent seven years building a yacht in whatever spare time they could find. "All the wives were part-time lighthouse keepers," she has recalled. "Unpaid, of course. It was just expected. When the man was away, the wife filled the gap." Trevor Anderson took early retirement in 1982, the year they launched their 44-foot wooden ketch, WaWa the Wayward Goose, circumnavigating Vancouver Island in 1983. For thirteen years they lived about their boat, once sailing as far as the South Pacific and New Zealand. Flo and Trevor Anderson came ashore in 1995 and now live in Sidney, B.C. At age 70 she wrote Lighthouse Chronicles: Twenty Years on the B.C. Lights (Harbour Publishing), published in 1988.
The Lighthouse Chronicles (Harbour $18.95)
Flo Anderson’s The Lighthouse Chronicles (Harbour $18.95) explores her life as a lighthouse keeper on isolated areas of the B.C. coast. 1-55017-181-X
[BCBW WINTER 1998]